Return Of The Giant: Emirates’ A380 Is Back At Manchester

While the United Arab Emirates may remain on the United Kingdom Government’s red list, it hasn’t stopped Emirates from upping its capacities on the route. Today, the giant of the skies has resumed flights to Manchester, replacing the Boeing 777 on the route.

Emirates, Airbus A380, Manchester
Emirates’ Airbus A380 has returned to Manchester. Photo: Getty Images

Passengers love the Airbus A380, but the same can’t be said about all airlines. A lack of demand led to Airbus ending the program long before the current pandemic. Of course, the pandemic has done no favors, with many of the type’s operators shelving the kind for good. One airline that has remained committed to the giant of the skies is Dubai’s Emirates.

Back to Manchester

Today, the Airbus A380 resumed another route using the giant of the skies. At 04:00 UTC, A6-EVM climbed into the skies bound for the UK. Operating flight EK17, the aircraft flew to Manchester, the airline’s second-biggest UK destination outside London.

According to data from, the plane touched down at 11:15 UTC, giving a flight time of seven hours and 15 minutes. Interestingly, Emirates would’ve flown the aircraft to manchester with no passengers onboard. Due to the UAE’s red-list status, carriers cannot fly passengers from Dubai to England. Instead, passengers must route via a third city, such as via Frankfurt with Lufthansa.

Emirates, Airbus A380, Manchester
The Airbus A380 last flew to Manchester with Emirates in January. Photo:

As a red list country, the UK Government also strongly discourages flying to the destination. Clearly, there is demand for such a flight, perhaps with passengers connecting. If the market on the route were insufficient to justify the A380, the airline would likely look to keep running the 777, moving the A380 to a more profitable route.

According to data from, this flight was the first time that the Airbus A380 has flown to Manchester with Emirates since January 31st.

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Will the UAE remain on the red list?

The UAE was placed on the red list due to the threat of importing COVID-19 cases from the country. However, since it was added, the situation has drastically improved in the country. Vaccines likely played a part in this.

Emirates, Airbus A380, Manchester
Emirates is slowly bringing Airbus A380s out of storage as demand returns. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

According to CNBC, things are looking up for passengers eager to escape to the Dubai sun. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and CEO of Emirates told the publication,

“Our officials are already speaking and taking that very seriously; talking to the government and to the officials there to make sure that we should be very soon off the red list.”

While the country would be unlikely to drop down to the green list, meaning quarantine-free travel, the amber list would still be a considerable improvement. Travelers from amber destinations don’t need to quarantine in a hotel and can leave quarantine after five days with the right tests.

Of course, this would benefit Emirates in two ways. Firstly, it would see an increase in demand due to more relaxed rules, but also, it would be able to effectively double its market overnight, as it would be able to ferry passengers both ways on relevant routes.

Are you excited to see the Airbus A380 back in Manchester? Do you think the UAE will drop off the red-list? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!